The quality of tequila pushing into the U.S. market is so high these days that it’s hard to write a really bad review. It’s easy to be wowed by some more than others, and some, though good, make me question the price point, but I have yet to find one I’d swear off drinking again.
Tequila Peñasco Reposado has extended that winning streak for all the correct reasons: flavor, aroma and color are all what a reposado is supposed to represent–that perfect balance between a blanco’s vibrancy and that kiss of maturity born of brief barrel rest.
That I liked it this much was particularly surprising given my not-so-favorable reaction to its sibling Tequila Peñasco Plata, an expression I thought fine, but unexciting. The reposado, however, delivers a 180 as a super-enjoyable sipper. Every time I’ve drunk it, I’ve always wanted more because it’s so flavorful and easygoing.
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In just four to six months barrel time, it makes quick friends with the wood, but no inappropriately deep relationships. Like a new college graduate who shows some maturity gained in his matriculation, this expression displays complexity while maintaining its youthfulness. Sip it neat or use it in a cocktail–it’s flexible! Given my druthers, though, I’d choose this neat.
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Its light gold tint is alluring and hints accurately of a light body with a clean finish. On the front of the palate come good wood accents, touches of cinnamon and just a whisper of pepper. After a few sips I pick up some fruit, wood flavors and even some crème brulée on the exhale. This is a spirit any novice tequila sipper could enjoy straight.
Aerating and swirling bring out some butterscotch and brown sugar notes, followed by a good dose of vapor, so don’t nose it too closely like I did (and do too often). Let it rest and the brown sugar returns alongside a scant bit of toasted bread.
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What tingles the tongue up front softens quickly at mid-palate and disappears before reaching the back. No, it’s not much for finishing, but hey, after less than a half year in the barrel, what do you expect? Maybe that quick disappearing act is what leaves me so eager for more when I’m finished.
Tequila Aficionado is proud to welcome rising star in tequila and travel journalism, Stephen Coomes, as a Contributing Writer and Reviewer. His steady gigs include roles as contributing editor for Nation’s Restaurant News (the U.S. restaurant industry’s largest publication), restaurant critic and feature writer for Louisville magazine, feature writer for Edible Louisville and Seafood Business magazines, Kentucky travel and dining contributor for Southern Living, and dining blogger for Insider Louisville. He also writes marketing, PR, web copy and ghostwrites for numerous private clients. You can visit Steve online at www.stevecoomes.com.